THERE were an additional 381 cases of coronavirus in the North East and North Yorkshire within the last 24-hours (figures reported yesterday).

The Government said a further 144 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of yesterday (Sunday), bringing the UK total to 122,849.

In other coronavirus related news:

  • South Gloucestershire will provide additional community testing for Covid-19, following the identification in the area of the variant first identified in Manaus, Brazil, Public Health England and NHS Test and Trace have said.
  • Government data up to February 27 shows that of the 20,885,683 jabs given in the UK so far, 20,089,551 were first doses – a rise of 407,503 on the previous day. Some 796,132 were second doses, an increase of 27,322 on figures released the previous day.
  • NHS Providers chief executive Chris Hopkins has praised the rollout of 20 million Covid-19 jabs in the UK as a “great credit to everyone involved” in delivering the vaccines – but warned that “now is not the time to let down our guard” or ease restrictions. Mr Hopkins said: “We owe much of this success to trusts, working with colleagues in primary care with the fantastic support of so many volunteers. But it’s important to remember there’s a long way to go – we’re not even close to half way through this programme. And there’s a further challenge, to design a workforce model to enable us to do this year in year out. As we set out in our recent briefing, we need to see more progress on vaccines, lower Covid-19 case numbers, much less pressure on the NHS and plans in place to contain future outbreaks before easing restrictions. Now is not the time to let down our guard.”
  • The Government also said that, as of 9am on Sunday, there had been a further 6,035 lab-confirmed cases in the UK. It brings the total to 4,176,554.
  • NHS England chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said: “Vaccinating 20 million people – including 17 million across England – in a few short weeks shows the NHS vaccination campaign is firing on all cylinders, and looking out to Easter and beyond it’s full speed ahead. As we can see from other parts of the world, having vaccines from the manufacturers versus actually administering them to patients can be two different things. So this latest milestone is also a tribute to careful health service planning, effective organisation and amazing teamwork across the whole of the country.”
  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: “20 million people across the UK have now got the jab – a huge national achievement and a testament to the tireless work of NHS staff, volunteers, the Armed Forces & many more. I urge everyone to get the jab when called. Every jab makes a difference in our battle against COVID.”
  • Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said: “Today’s incredible milestone is only possible thanks to the brilliant efforts of GPs, community pharmacists, frontline NHS workers and volunteers who have been doing everything they can to vaccinate those most at risk as quickly as possible. Thank you also to the Government’s Vaccines Taskforce, which pulled out all the stops to purchase the most promising vaccines in advance on behalf of the entire UK, Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories to give us the best possible start. Our vaccination programme has been a huge success and I want to pay tribute to everybody who has played their part.”
  • Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “I’m absolutely delighted that over 20 million people have now been vaccinated. Well over a third of all adults have now received their first dose of a Covid vaccine in every corner of the UK. Every jab in the arm is another life soon to be protected from this awful disease and means we are a step closer to returning to our normal lives. Thank you to everyone in the NHS, government, local authorities and volunteers who have been working tirelessly to make this happen. I urge everyone eligible for the vaccine to come forward as soon as possible to protect yourself and those around you. We can only beat this virus together.”
  • A further 149 people who tested positive for coronavirus have died in hospital in England, bringing the total number of confirmed deaths reported in hospitals to 83,123, NHS England said on Sunday. Patients were aged between 23 and 103. All except six, aged between 34 and 89, had known underlying health conditions. The deaths were between January 8 and February 27. There were 22 other deaths reported with no positive Covid-19 test result.
  • Public Health Wales said a total of 923,615 first doses of the Covid-19 vaccine had now been given in Wales, an increase of 7,279 from the previous day. The agency said 96,408 second doses had also been given, an increase of 7,355. In total, 91.2 per cent of over-80s in Wales have received their first dose, along with 93.4 per cent of those aged 75-79, 93 per cent of those aged 70-74, 77 per cent of those aged 65-69, 28.4 per cent of those aged 60-64, 21.7 per cent of those aged 55-59 and 19.3 per cent of those aged 50-54. For care homes, 86 per cent of residents and 83.5 per cent of staff have received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. Public Health Wales said 86.3 per cent of health care workers had received their first dose, along with 87.7 per cent of people in the clinically extremely vulnerably category and 16.4% of those in clinical risk groups.